Taras Bychko lives and works in Lviv (Ukraine), takes pictures in the genre of documentary and street photography. He is the finalist of Miami Street Photo Festival, London Photo Festival, “In the Shadow. Story and Pictures” by National Geographic. T. Bychko is the winner in the nomination “Street” at the Ukrainian Photographer of the Year 2016 competition. His photo was included in the book “100 Great Street Photographs” (London, England, 2017)
He organized street collective “380 Collective” dedicated to the development of street photography in Ukraine.
My story is probably the same like many other photographers’ ones. I bought a camera when my first baby was born just to catch the moments of growing-up. I had never taken a photography as art before that. It took me quite a time to evaluate from just hobby photography into becoming a street and documentary photographer. Before starting to take photos, I had dived into the history of photography. I was extremely interested to learn to understand the “language of photography” so I had created a very structured plan of study and started to read a lot of thematic literature.
I worked as a legal adviser at that period of time and had had very limited free time but every minute of that “freedom” I was dedicated to photography. I was searching myself in photography for months… Due to the lack of free time, I started to shoot on the streets, while my lunch breaks, going to a supermarket, walks, etc. I started to look at my world through the viewfinder of my camera. I was quite lucky to be able to find the proper tool for my style of photography quite soon – X100. I really love the X-series cameras because of the outstanding ergonomics and total feelings from the shooting these cameras provide(it’s all about comfort and pleasure using them). Also, those awesome film simulations allowing me not to edit my photos afterward.
It was not enough though to shoot only when you have a “free time” so I had decided that if I need to choose between photography and a job then I should quit my job in order to keep the drive and not let myself stop.
Street photography for me is a spontaneous intuition, a feeling to catch something that goes around you and is interesting, exciting and unique at the same time.
I’m surprised with a popular thought nowadays that anyone can shoot streets by just taking a camera and “go hunting” making “masterpieces” from time to time. Absurd! A street photography shooting is a very deep and well-thought thing that demands huge both visual and practical experience. But the main thing in this style of photography is to be ready for a “smile of a fortune” and be able to react to them correctly and in time.
The most difficult thing in street photography is not to repeat yourself and use self-criticism. It helps to look at your shots, evaluate them and understand the mistakes in order to avoid them in the future. It’s also important not to follow someone else’s expectations and stay yourself, stay faithful to yourself, and hear yourself. There is no border between street photography and documentary one in my practice. I’m interested in photography as a whole. I’m not interested to become a hostage of some certain photography style but want to take pictures of the life around me as it is.
The tools are important and it may be quite difficult to find a proper one that will help you to realize the idea and the vision in the best possible way.
I was quite like to get my hands on a new Fujifilm X-E4 before its official announcement while doing my shootings on the street of Lviv, Ukraine. The camera is so compact and almost invisible for other people which makes it a huge advantage while shooing at the streets. The speed the camera work with, awesome ergonomics, and beautiful processing of high ISO images are a huge benefits of X-E4. In my opinion, this new camera combined all the benefits of both X100 and X-Pro series it one body making Fujifilm Х-Е4 a decent versatile camera that is able to process any task it can face.